“Black Swan”: A True Controversy?

I can’t get too worked up over the controversy of how much dancing Natalie Portman did in “Black Swan.” Director Darren Aronofsky says it’s around 90 percent in terms of screen time. That’s a lot more Portman dancing than we heard of Audrey Hepburn singing in “My Fair Lady” (dubbed by Marni Nixon). On the other hand, Hepburn didn’t win an Oscar and Portman did. And a lot of the Portman hype pre-Oscar was how she spent a year learning to be a ballerina. I have no doubt that Portman worked her ass off for “Black Swan,” but I also think that Sarah Lane, the ABT dancer whose body was used in some of the movie, is right to make the point that you don’t turn into a first-rate professional ballerina in one year in your 20s. Finally, it was shitty of Portman not to thank Lane in her Oscar acceptance speech. (Though sometimes, in the rush of the moment, winners forget to thank even their spouses!)

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